Grave find at cemetery

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A Selkirk woman has called for dog walkers to be banned from cemeteries after finding faeces had been left on her family’s graves.

Jennifer Duncan Beaumont said that when she and her sister visited Shawfield cemetery to remove the Christmas wreaths from the graves of their mum, dad and sister, they were appalled at the amount of dog poo left on the graves.

She told us: “It is hurtful enough going up to our family’s graves without having to see and clean up dog poo.

“Something needs done about this, as they have no respect for the dead or their families.

“It is so disrespectful and disgusting ... and it’s getting worse.

“If you can’t clean up after your dog, you shouldn’t have one.

“And as far as cemeteries go, animals should be banned altogether.

“It’s a disgrace.”

The Southern Reporter took a look last week, and sure enough, there, on the second grave we passed, was a dog poo.

What was worse is that it was only 10m away from a litter bin.

The issue was also brought up at a Selkirk Community Council meeting last month.

During the meeting, Cath Henderson said she had been at former community council member Elsie Gibb’s funeral and was shocked at the amount of dog dirt left lying on the graves.

She said: “It was unbelievably shocking. I felt like apologising for Selkirk.

“It’s just as bad in the centre of the town – Halliwell’s Close, for instance, is particularly bad.”

At that meeting, Selkirkshire councillor Michelle Ballantyne urged people to take note of the project started by the people of St Boswells, who act as volunteer wardens, and patrol parks and streets, picking up dog poo and reporting offenders to the authorities.

Mrs Ballantyne added: “It takes a certain type of person to volunteer for something like this, but it works.”